The works involved the construction of a new Crematorium in South Staffordshire on what was a brown field site, largely covered in vegetation/mature and semi-mature trees.

The building included a chapel complete with a feature wall of Brickwork built to clad the Catafalque wall, along with traditional two coat plaster, feature lighting, decoration and floor finishes, reception, storerooms, WC’s/accessible WC, vestry, waiting room, transfer room, garden store, cremator room with 2no cremators, staff room, viewing room, entrance lobby and porte cochere.

Construction was a combination of render/random rubble clad blockwork walls, with glulam beam purlins and driven concrete piled foundations.

M&E works included comfort cooling, ventilation, heating, domestic services, lighting, alarms, small power, music, CCTV.

The site covered an area of approx. 10 acres and was cleared to create formal and informal pathways, a memorial garden and an ashes scattering area. New surface water, foul and land drainage were installed and an attenuation pond created. Permeable paving and tarmac installed to the roads and car parks and block paving, resin bound gravel and mulch to the pathways.

Additionally, Section 278 Highway works were delivered through a contract with Staffordshire County Council to enable access to site. This work included localised widening of Broad Lane and introducing a right-turn lane.

The challenges

The back of house area required completing 10 weeks prior to Practical Completion to allow the client’s specialist contractor to install specialist equipment.
The 10-acre site required landscaping works early in the project to give the client maximum benefit from day 1.

The solutions

McPhillips co-ordinated resources to commence early in order to provide a building ready for the client’s specialist contractor to install the back of house equipment. Landscaping was programmed early to allow hedges, trees, and the soft landscaping time to establish before the site was handed over.

The result

Overall, the project was a success. On a recent return visit the site manager for Westerleigh quoted Mercia Forest as being the jewel in Westerleigh’s crown.

This was a result of McPhillips site team and the clients in-house architect working closely to understand the requirements and aspirations of the client for this project to match the quality of the Westerleigh Portfolio.

Dave Morgan (McPhillips Contracts Manager) summed up: “It was a very interesting project, it’s not every day you have the opportunity to build and create an environment to allow people to mourn and reflect in such peaceful and tranquil surroundings.”

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